In 2017, we often feel deprived of that sensations of discovery and subjection that pervaded the minds of ancient travelers and colonial explorers: everything that can be discovered has already been discovered, every trip is programmed into the smallest details and when you arrive to the place is like you know it already ‘cause of the internet, books and blogs of other tourists.
However, even today, it may happen to come across some unexpected wonder…
On Sunday evening, returning from Ceno, a Taro’s clear tributary, we stumbled across the fifteenth century village of Viazzano.
In the municipality of Varano de ‘Melegari, Viazzano belonged to the Roccalanzona’s Castle territory until 1666, when it was donated along with other lands to the Ducal House of Parma, and later to the Venturini Family.
The village, perfectly preserved, maintains numerous medieval tower-houses and some Renaissance buildings, built with crude and massive stone blocks to express their strength to which the prestige of the occupant was associated.
Viazzano has given birth to many illustrious artists and celebrities, including soldiers and patriots, such as Giovanni Grossardi, one of the most prominent figures of Carboneria Parmense. The country’s business card, which caught us while we went down the Ceno valley, is in fact his own house: the double loggia on the front of Grossardi’s House, whose vaults have traces of frescoes and are framed by a romantic climbing ivy, sequestrates the tourist’s attention that inevitably stops the car and start to visit this wonderful town.
The appearance of the village, with the narrow cobbled alleys that mingle between the walls and the splendid panorama of the valley from Varano to Fornovo Taro, make Viazzano one of the most cured testimonies of what was the Apennine Middle Ages: a pearl outside of time, which embraces the visitor and takes him by the hand to another era … you almost expect to meet the faun Tumnus!
Starting from Viazzano you can also walk the “Maria Longa”, a spectacular ridge that had a strategic importance in the Longobarda era, where you can admire what remains of the unmistakable Castle of Roccalanzona and reach “Pietra Corva”, from which you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Val Ceno and the Po Valley.